Hungary again halts €500M in military aid to Ukraine over state-owned OTP Bank's status
Flags of the EU, Hungary and Ukraine (Photo: Depositphotos)

The ministers of foreign affairs of the EU countries did not agree on the tranche of military aid to Ukraine. Hungary demands guarantees that Ukraine will not put OTP Bank back on the list of international war sponsors, Radio Liberty correspondent Rikard Jozwiak reported on X (Twitter).

The eighth tranche of EU military aid should amount to 500 million euros.

Agreements were not reached because Hungary demands legal assurances that OTP Bank is excluded from the list of international war sponsors forever, writes Jozwiak.

On September 29, Ukraine's National Agency on Corruption Prevention suspended the status of OTP Bank in this list.

This happened as a result of negotiations between representatives of the department, the company and the government of Hungary regarding the termination of cooperation with Russia.

At the same time, the agency expressed the hope that such a decision would lead to the unblocking by Hungary of 500 million euros of vital EU military aid for the Ukrainian people.

Instead, the official representative of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mate Paczolay, stated that the country will not support the provision of military aid to Ukraine from the EU while the bank is on this list.

As early as October 3, NACP excluded OTP Bank from the list of war sponsors.

Inclusion in the list of international sponsors of war is a reputational tool.

All listed companies are included in World-Check, a database of high-risk individuals and organizations used worldwide to identify and manage financial, regulatory and reputational risks.

On May 4, 2023, NACP added Hungarian OTP Bank to the list of international war sponsors. The decision was made due to the position of the bank's management to continue operations in Russia and the de facto recognition of the terrorist organizations of the Donetsk and Luhansk "people's republics".

The next day, OTP Bank Ukraine published a statement in which it called false information about the activities of OTP Group on the Russian market.

On May 17, the Hungarian foreign minister said that the state intends to block the next tranches of EU military support for Ukraine and any new package of EU sanctions against Russia until OTP Bank is removed from the list of war sponsors.